No More Security Updates: Win7 Support Ends Jan 14

John Lister's picture

Microsoft will officially ditch support for Windows 7 in just a couple of weeks, a decade after the system debuted. It means Microsoft may face a difficult choice over security issues.

January 14 will mark the end of Extended Support for Windows 7 - the second period of a Windows edition's lifespan. Mainstream support, which is the period when Windows 7 received new features and Microsoft deals with tech queries free of charge, already ended in 2015. (Source:

Extended Support is where Microsoft charges for help and where the only updates are to fix security problems and major performance issues. Windows 10 doesn't have this schedule as it's designed for ongoing updates with no successor as such.

Windows 7 Still Popular

Officially then that means that from mid-January Windows 7 users are completely on their own. Microsoft won't plug any security gaps and users will need to figure out any problems themselves.

There's a familiar problem though: Windows 7 remains widely used. The most recent statistics from Statcounter estimate that more than 27 percent of people running Windows are still on Windows 7. It seems like many users gave up on upgrades as only just over five percent are running Windows 8, with Windows 10 on 64 percent and a handful of people still on XP or Vista. (Source:

Windows 7 a Boon For Hackers

It's a real chicken and egg situation as a user base that large gives plenty of incentive for hackers to target their efforts on Windows 7 security holes when Microsoft stops the support.

On the other hand, Microsoft likely fears that if it doesn't stick to the schedule, people won't bother upgrading and it will be stuck with the increasingly difficult task of keeping Windows 7 secure.

Windows XP was similarly popular after its scheduled demise date (likely because users were put off by Vista's poor reputation and got out of the upgrade cycle). In that case, Microsoft stretched the final date for withdrawing support. Although it stopped routine security updates, it did issue an emergency patch for XP earlier this year for a particularly significant security risk.

Upgrade to Windows 10 Now

If you need help upgrading to Windows 10, contact Dennis now for an appointment and he can manage the entire upgrade for you, including backups pre- and post upgrade, plus manual optimization of the system. He'll also answer any questions you may have. By upgrading to Windows 10, your system will continue to receive security updates.

What's Your Opinion?

Do you still use Windows 7? Is 10 years after release a reasonable time to stop support? Should Microsoft take into account the number of people using Windows 7 when deciding whether to issue any future security fixes?

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.4 (8 votes)


Jim's picture

So if I reinstall Windows and reactivate it next month (I assume Microsoft will still activate Win 7 installations, at least for the foreseeable future) will it get all the updates that were in place on Jan 14, 2020?

buzzallnight's picture

Do you still use Windows 7? yes
Is 10 years after release a reasonable time to stop support?
It would be if they ever patched all the holes in any of their products, but they didn't.
Should Microsoft take into account the number of people using Windows 7 when deciding whether to issue any future security fixes?
Well, they have to for the same reason they extended support for xp,
If 24 percent of the computers on the internet become infected it will bring the whole internet down.

NEWS for M$
1. Don't change the GUI!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. People do not like changes to software they already know how to use.
3. Use your massive politically clout to make a law that withholding known flaws in software is treason punishable by death, even for government agencies!!!!!
4. People do not like software as a service!
We want a stand alone product as disconnected from you (M$) as possible,
we don't even like your licensing scheme because that is probably a security hole too!!!
5. You can't fix a software security problem with more software!!!!!!!!!!!
Less software is the way to do that.